It's Australia Day 2016 and we remember that, in this country of great first achievements, toward the middle of last century, Australia rolled out its first Australian-designed mass produced car off the line. Preceded only as a manufacturer by the Ford Motor Company of Australia, the FX Holden (officially titled, the Holden 48-215) signified a huge leap in further independence for Australia, providing jobs and a skilled labour force but moreover, it gave Australians more identity.
Ok, so factually the first Australian car to be produced here was steam powered - called the Phaeton, in 1896. Then in 1901, the Tarrant Automobile, powered by a petrol engine was constructed. This was all proof in the pudding that Australia was heading toward its own mass production at some point - folks had realised that due to our isolation, practically, we needed to make our own cars.
Five prototype vehicles were made in a Detroit GM workshop where American and Australian engineers collaborated to make a new Chevrolet. Three of those were then shipped to Australia, the first becoming a resident of the National Museum of Australia. From there, two more prototypes were built in Australia.
The FX would sport a 3 speed transmission coupled to a 2160cc engine, 6 cylinder engine producing a mighty 60hp. In April of 1948, body tooling began at the production plant in Woodville, South Australia while engines were constructed at Fisherman's Bend and in September, the car was badged, Holden. The first Australian mass-produced car was then unveiled that November.
And the rest, is history.